One of the key elements of the Employer’s recent offer to CUPE 3903 is a proposal to provide eight “full time” faculty (YUFA) positions per year for eligible long-serving CUPE 3903 Unit 2 members. During the 2015 strike, the Employer agreed to eight tenure-stream appointments per year (at least two of which were to the professorial stream).
In this round, the Employer is only agreeing to provide two tenure-stream appointments per year, with no guaranteed minimum in the professorial stream. The remaining six appointments would be called “special renewable contracts” (SRCs), which would be partially akin to multi-year CLA appointments: potentially renewable (subject to review) and with a higher teaching load and lower salary. Like all full-time appointments, these would be established and governed by the YUFA Collective Agreement.
YUFA is seriously concerned that the Employer is proposing a major revision and new provisions to the YUFA Collective Agreement without consulting YUFA, and in a way that may be intended to create tensions between YUFA and CUPE. The proposed provisions include terms and conditions of employment that may not be acceptable to YUFA, including no sabbatical rights, high teaching loads, and restrictive opportunities for renewal. YUFA has told the Employer that we have very serious misgivings about this new category of “full-time” faculty member. We have asked to speak with the York administration about this proposal to change the YUFA Collective Agreement in CUPE 3903 negotiations, but they have refused, even though they understand that the proposal requires YUFA’s agreement.
This is an unprecedented and provocative development, which we believe is one of the reasons a strike appears likely.
In short, YUFA is disappointed that the Employer is proposing to replace most of the long-standing annual tenure-stream conversion appointments it most recently re-negotiated with CUPE 3903 in 2015 with the new program described above. In its place, CUPE members are being asked to agree to something that is only conditional on YUFA’s agreement (and which can only be provided after negotiations). We think this is a major reason why a strike may be imminent and we urge the Employer to consider offering a revised package to CUPE 3903 to avoid what may be a very messy and destructive strike.
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